There is no better way to experience real Africa than to go on active safaris. Most seasoned travelers understand the allure to this out-of-this-world experience — something that lets you enjoy the wild even beyond the safari vehicle. You know what they say, “A family that goes to the wild together, stays together!” But, what really are active safaris?
Active safaris are basically family safaris. They are unique experiences in the wild that are “active”, which means you get chances to step out of your safari vehicle for an activity that gets you closer to the wilderness. This activity could range from hiking to quad biking to horseback riding to outdoor retreats and many more. Of course, these activities will be arranged by a licensed operator wherein you will have the right guides and professional rangers with you.
Where to go on an active safari?
If you go on an active safari or any safari in general, it is most ideal to head to the world’s premier safari destination: East Africa.
World renowned for the authentic African vibe, dramatic Great Migration, breathtaking animal concentration and the impressive kaleidoscope of wildlife-ridden landscapes, East Africa brings you to a whole new world of adventure.
Tanzania and Kenya are best known for its string of active safaris primarily because of its sheer diversity and concentration of wildlife. These are also the only two countries in the world where you can see the Great Wildebeest Migration — an event that exhibits over two million wildebeests along with thousands of zebras and gazelles being stalked by many predators as they move through the savannas for greener pasture.
Check out: Great Migration Tours
For a different side of the wild, explore the jungles of Uganda and Rwanda. You will be rewarded with an unreal forest scenery and an astounding jungle experience trekking primates including the world endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Check out: 6 Days Ravishing Primate Safari
Why you should do an active safari
Aside from the unforgettable memories it creates, there are many other reasons to love active safaris.
✰ Family time
A vacation in the wild not only promises an adventure like no other, but it also gives you time to sort of unplug from the world you’re used to and just enjoy the company of your loved ones. Yes, you will be in the wild and you may even be sleeping in the midst of it, under the stars. But, you will also have the tranquility, the feeling of warmth alongside nature and best of all, luxury will still be within your reach. Plus, there is always something for each of you so a fun and memorable holiday is guaranteed.
Active safaris are like live, natural classrooms. By exposing your kids (and even yourself!) to different cultures, cuisines, history, care for the wildlife habitat, etc., you are giving them a chance to learn from experience and see the things with their own eyes. Expert guides will also be able to add to the experience as they will be the ones who will tell you stories, facts, and figures, and even teach you a thing or two about living in the wild or tracking animals. If you wish, you can also tour some UNESCO World Heritage Sites! Indeed, active safaris are lessons that can keep your kids awake and interested all day!
✰ Unique accommodation
Unlike vacationing in Europe or America, being in the wild won’t give you the usual hotel accommodation. Instead, you will be staying either at a gorgeous tented camp, a lodge or a simple bivouac tent if you’re planning to rough it out and stay on a tight budget.
What’s great about the accommodations in the wild side of Africa is that you will still be able to enjoy top-notch amenities despite being in an exclusive location in the wild. Many of the lodges have swimming pools that you can just unwind and bond with the entire family. Other safari tented camps offer bonfires where you can exchange stories after an exciting day.
✰ Year-round destination
The beauty of Africa is that it’s located near the Equator which means weather and climate is kind of stable all year-round, making it a perfect destination at any time. Plus, the best months to visit conveniently coincide with most Western holidays: June to October and December to March. These months are considered the driest months, thereby promising an optimum game-viewing experience. It also offers the opportunity to witness the iconic Great Wildebeest Migration, which is a Natural Wonder of Africa and the “world’s greatest show.”
✰ Varied activities
There are plenty of things you can do on active safaris. Some of the usual favorites include:
* Horseback riding | How about getting up close to the animals in the wild while riding on a horse? This experience is not only unique and fun, but it’s also a great way to feel the breeze of the wilderness against your skin!
* Mountain trekking | There are a lot of mountains to climb in Africa: Mount Meru, Mount Kenya, etc. The great thing is, many options are available whether you are experienced or a beginner, or whether you have a week to climb or even just a day to explore! But one of the most sought-after peaks is the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain.
* Hiking | Hiking in the savannas? Check. Hiking in the jungle? Check. Either way, your safari will truly be one for the books!
* Nature walking | Getting off that safari vehicle may be a good stretch, but with guided nature walks, it’s definitely more than that. You get to explore Africa on foot! That’s got to be something out of all kinds of ordinary.
* Golfing | East Africa is riddled with exemplary adventures! Golfing safaris are better known in Kenya and choices for these kinds of safaris are aplenty!
* Biking | Typically, biking are done in the afternoon. This is an excellent way to enjoy the wilderness while getting a good exercise. Biking safaris are common in Tanzania and also in Kenya.
* Kitesurfing | Frankly, it’s not only kite surfing that’s available. There’s fishing, surfing, kayaking, paddling, snorkeling, and even diving! Thanks to Tanzania’s Zanzibar and also to Kenya’s coastal area, these activities are at an arm’s reach!
* Canoeing | With a wealth of water bodies cross East Africa, you are bound to fall in love with nature as you cruise along the rivers and lakes on a canoe or boat.
* Whitewater rafting | This exciting activity is known to be best experienced in Uganda where you get to feel the thrill of riding through the rapids of one of the world’s most iconic rivers, the River Nile.
✰ Once-in-a-lifetime experience
It’s time to up your family adventure and experience something you’ve never had before! Besides, sights and events like the Great Migration can be found nowhere else in the entire world. You’ll never know, this adventure might be your family’s story of the century!
✰ Tanzania: 12 Days Bush and Beach Safari
✰ Rwanda: 11 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari